Detection of IgM antibodies to human herpesvirus 6 in romanian children with nonprogressive human immunodeficiency virus disease

Giovanni Nigro, Giuseppe Luzi, Andrzej Krzysztofiak, Francesco D’orio, Fernando Aiuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prevalence of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection and the course of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease were investigated in 25 Romanian children with nosocomial HIV-1 infection. HHV-6 IgM and IgG antibodies were detected by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and immunofluorescence assay (IFA) at the beginning of the study and after 18 months, concomitantly with collection of virologic, immunologic and clinical data. The initial HHV-6 seropositivity was 92% by EIA and 76% by IFA, whereas final testing showed 100% positivity by EIA and 84% by IFA. Positive HHV-6 IgM antibodies were detected in 10 children (40%) by EIA and IFA. Of these 9 children (36%) by EIA and 6 (24%) by IFA had both initial and final IgM antibodies. Children with HHV-6 IgM antibodies had a higher prevalence of pneumoniitis than those without (100% vs. 53.3%; P <0.01). In addition they more frequently showed positive p24 antigen detection (67% vs. 40%) and positive HIV-1 culture (80% vs. 69%). Nevertheless the patients with HHV-6 IgM antibodies showed a slight increase in the final mean CD4+ T cell count (from 1.140 to 1.185 × 10 6/liter), whereas those with HHV-6 IgG alone showed a statistically significant (P = 0.01) decrease (from 1.395 to 968 CD4+ T-cells × 10 6/liter). Therefore current or recent HHV-6 infection, as revealed by positive HHV-6 IgM antibodies, appeared to be associated with the development of pneumonitis but not with progression of HIV disease. A possible competitive inhibition of HIV-1 by HHV-6 or a stimulating effect of HHV-6 on CD4+ T-cell production may be suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-894
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Human herpesvirus 6
  • Nosocomial human immunodeficiency virus 1 infection
  • Pneumonitis
  • Progression of human immunodeficiency virus disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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